always learning...

· SamuelDearingHouse,Innkeeping,AncoraImpara

Ancora Impara - always learning. That's been a family theme since we started homeschooling and chose it for our family school name - to emphasize that we were ALL learning - it wasn't the parents inflicting learning on the children.

As I mentioned in my previous post: we bought an old home with the intention of running a B&B (via Airbnb). We closed on The Samuel Dearing House on September 13th and (somewhat arbitrarily) set October 11th as our opening up date - we needed to get this show on the road! We started an Airbnb and quickly had bookings coming in for a business that wasn't begun.

What did we know about B&B life? Nothing! We didn't know what we were doing so we started doing it right away. Learning as we went.

Randy and I had spent most weekends of the summer procuring furniture and bedding and wall art and lamps and rugs and old books and stuff. We went to flea markets and garage sales and antique stores and thrift stores. We knew we had four guest-rooms to furnish - and the rest of the house needed to be guest-ready as well. Randy will say this was the most fun summer of our lives. We didn't know for sure what we needed. But we started buying things. We didn't know for sure if what we bought would fit the rooms or achieve the ambiance we were aiming for. It would've been an entertaining reality show: Randy with his neat, precise spreadsheets in engineer's crisp black and white and me with my less-precise (but more colorful) journal full of marker-scribbled sticky notes - each of us planning and organizing the rooms in our own way.

Our guiding principle - the wisdom of William Morris (1880): 

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,

or believe to be beautiful." 

Well, that narrowed it down! Slightly.

By the time the summer was over and we were ready to move into George, our lists had been reworked and revised, our small apartment looked like an over-crowded thrift store, and our two storage units were jammed. And we were ready to get going! We needed to get going!!

With the help of family and friends, everything was unloaded into our new old home. Now, it looked like a flea market: lots of furniture, a stack of rugs, a lamp department, a pile of framed wall-art, boxes of curtains, cartons of china, baskets of baskets, bins of towels and bedding, crates of books. It was finally time to see if we had what it would take to provide our guests with comfortable and attractive rooms. We scurried around from morning to night moving furniture, hanging curtains, laundering bedding, sanitizing towels, placing rugs, arranging books; mending, hammering, ironing, folding, cleaning, polishing.

As we set up the house for guests, we had nagging questions about hosting them. Once we got the rooms set up to make our guests comfortable, do we have what it takes to provide strangers with a memorable stay? We've barely begun this endeavor but we've already learned a lot and have begun to shape our approach to innkeeping. More to come, if you're interested! 🗝

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